Top 10 Underrated Bands
10. Sunny Day Real Estate
Whining, preening and screaming, emo kids let their range of emotions out as they scream the name of their idolized bands. They imitate their Emo heroes’ fashion statements, black eye-liner, black fingernails and all (Learn how to dress emo - male). How can they not see them as modern-day icons since they can relate to their heartaches and heartbreaks of their favorite emo frontmen? Sometimes, you just have to ask if it is really about the music anymore. Because if it is indeed about the music, why on earth isn’t Sunny Day Real Estate on of these snotty teens’ list of iconic emo heroes? “Who are they?” you might ask. They happen to be one of the pioneers of the Emo genre that paved the way for all these juvenile modern bands. They are actually credited for bringing Emo out of the underground and on to our favorite radio stations. Come on people; give them a pat on the back by buying at least one record.
Sunny Day Real Estate - Song About an Angel
Notable Songs: Seven, Rodeo Jones, How It Feels Like to be Something On
So, what’s a popular band doing on this list? It’s true that Muse gained fame in 2007 for its album “Blackholes and Revelations”, but its hordes of new fans have missed out on their four previous albums. Muse’s previous albums were just as good, if not better than their latest album. Muse’s debut album, “Showbiz,” exemplifies how creative Brit rock can get. “Origin of Symmetry” combines electronic sounds with the jangly guitars of modern Brit rock. “Absolution” is the absolute favorite of Muse fans since it flawlessly marries good old fashioned Brit rock with the dark and brooding themes of goth rock. “Hullabaloo” is a collection of B-side tracks with a live performance to boot. With all of the great albums previously released, Muse was arguably the greatest three-piece band that ever existed even before they came out with their latest album.
Muse - New Born
Notable Songs: Just run through all the albums mentioned in this piece.
8. Afghan Whigs
When everyone was busy listening to their Goo Goo Dolls and Sugar Ray records, the Afghan Whigs were trying to teach the world how alternative rock should sound. They had all the potential to be successful, but they paid the price for not being pop at enough. Incidentally, rock music listeners were split between those that liked the grungy flavor of the Afghan Whigs and those that adored the pop alternative trend. Unfortunately for Greg Dulli and co., the latter half is the path towards mainstream success. They should have been household names instead of the urban legends that they are now.
Afghan Whigs - Conjure Me
Notable Songs: Gentleman, Honky’s Ladder, Fountain and Fairfax, Debonair
This is a classic case of a band being overpowered by a single hit song. Toadies’ smash hit “Possum Kingdom” is one of the more prominent rock songs that still consitently receives airplay. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the Toadies’ other songs, since a lot of people don’t actually know who sang “Possum Kingdom.” The few people who knew about the Toadies regarded them as a mere one-hit wonder and didn’t bother to listen to their other songs. What those people didn’t know is that the band’s other songs are almost as good “Possum Kingdom.” They could have been as highly regarded as The Lemonheads or The Killers, if only they were able to outperform their own hit song. If you think super-powerful hit songs are good, you better think again.
The Toadies Live in the Full Throttle Garage
Notable Songs: Possum Kingdom, Backslider, Quitter, Mister Love
6. The Melvins
If you are a fan of grunge rock and industrial rock, you probably listen to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Tool, Deftones and Soundgarden. But, if you are a member of any of those bands, you probably listen to The Melvins. The Melvins are one of the pioneering acts in the field of grunge rock and industrial rock. They incorporated elements of sludge rock with good old fashioned hard rock and the end result was a delight brooding ear-splitter. It can be said that The Melvins’ music can change a person’s life. Unfortunately, no one has heard them, so they won’t get that chance.
The Melvins - With Teeth
Notable Songs: Set Me Straight, Rollbull, June Bug, Hooch
There was a toss-up in the early 90’s between grunge rock and Weezer-inspired alternative rock. There were great bands that were ignored due the success of more commercial bands. Hum was one of the most talented acts in that list of unfortunate 90’s bands. The band’s guitar-driven alternative rock sounds like Weezer on steroids. Using a plethora of guitar effects and distortions, Matt Talbott’s vocals blend right in with the melody. They could have made a name for themselves with their exceptional take on alternative music but a series of unfortunate events kept them from garnering mainstream success. Poor album promotions and thwarted record deals kept things awry for the band until they finally decided to break-up. They could have been great and everyone that has listened to Hum knows that for a fact.
Hum - Stars
Notable Songs: Stars, I’d Like Your Hair Long, Isle of The Cheetah, Why I Like Robbins
4. Frank Black/The Pixies
Cult hits are cool because they are adored by people that have acquired a certain level of appreciation. Frank Black of the Pixies knows that fact and revels in it. Incidentally, he has made himself a cult classic through a successful music career. If you listen closely to his songs, you will find that some of them resemble those played by newer artists. Frank Black was a very influential character for grunge rock and the resurgence of garage rock. It’s true that he prefers to exist without the spotlight on him, but his achievements in the grunge rock scene deserve more credit than many other bands.
The Pixies - Where is my Mind
Notable Songs: Gigantic, Broken Face, Here Comes Your Man, Debaser
3. Oingo Boingo
Danny Elfman is a world renowned composer for movies and TV shows. Known for his ability to create music that fits a particular theme, he crafted the theme music of The Simpsons, Batman and Desperate Housewives. It comes as a surprise then, that his band was as noticeable as dusty furniture. In fact, not a lot of people even knew that he actually had a band in the first place. Elfman’s band, Oingo Boingo, was a critically acclaimed band that masqueraded as a new wave act. They used new wave as a platform while adding strange sounds, haunting vocals and heavy guitars from time-to-time. Their music is best described as a mixture of new wave, opera, hard rock and sound effects. To tell you the truth, they actually played great music and could have been pioneers if they only gained exposure. They were consistently praised by critics and underground music fans for innovating new wave to a whole new level. Unfortunately, the critics were probably the only ones who actually heard Oingo Boingo play.
Oingo Boingo - Just Another Day
Notable Songs: Hey!, Grey Matter, Weird Science, When The Lights Go Out
2. Tower of Power
James Brown truly deserved the title “The Godfather of Soul” and his worldwide recognition, but in the background dwelled another great soul act that played music far beyond their years. If James Brown was soul’s best solo performer, Tower of Power has to be the best group. Tower of Power was made up of ten members. Most of their tunes are upbeat and their horn section decorated their songs with added emotional impact. Through the years, they released quite a number of albums, but none of them broke into the top ten Billboard charts.
Tower of Power - What is Hip
Notable Songs: What is Hip?, Soul Vaccination, Down to The Nightclub, You’re Still a Young Man
1. Alice in Chains
In an age dominated by their fellow grunge bands, Alice in Chains played the most innovative and intelligent music. Alice in Chains had its share of the spotlight but was totally overshadowed by their more successful peers, Nirvana and Pearl Jam. According to several hard rock purists, if talent and innovation were the sole bases for the greatness of a band, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden would have been the front-runners of the grunge era. You don’t even have to listen closely to figure out that they play music that is distinctive. Among all grunge bands, they wrote the best lyrics, since a lot of Layne Staley’s odes are comparable to actual poems. The saddest part is that Layne Staley’s death didn’t get the attention that it deserved. Fortunately, the band is still active.
Alice in Chains - No Excuses
Notable Songs: Would?, Man in The Box, Rooster, Grind, Got Me Wrong
Underrated artists can use with the best words and the wisest melodies, but in the end, they all take a backseat to what the media dictates as popular and influential. That’s okay if all the artists who receive the spotlight deserve it, but it is regrettable that not everything that the spotlight hits shines back with luster. If you enjoy reading this article, you’ll surely be interested in learning the Five ways to convince people you’re a rock god.
Why don’t you check out the Top 10 Grunge Bands or better yet check out the Top Ten Most Amazing Rock Bands of All Time. Also, know the Top Ten 90s Rock Bands and the Top 10 Rock Albums of 2007. But if you don’t like Rock, then try other genre like Metal or Pop. Know the Top 10 Best Metal Bands that Germany Bred or the Top Ten Most Popular Boy Bands of All Time and their songs.